Sunday, 12 May 2019

Religion and earthly politics.

Religion and earthly politics.

People all around me debate about the benefits and drawbacks of reading the Bible. Some read the holy book every day and learn lessons they apply to life, while others object. It is a book written by nomad desert people and it talks about an imaginary God, they say. Both sides can prove or disprove their arguments with some good evidence. What’s left is faith. I am asked to believe or choose not to believe.

I was reading in 1 Kings 17:7-16 the story of Elijah and the Widow at Zarephath. The Prophet told a widow to give him water and bread. She said that all she had was a little flour and some olive oil. She was going to make bread for herself and her son, eat it and die after. Prophet Elijah said that if she feeds him first, the jar of flour and the jug of oil will remain full and it happened. The widow and her baby took care of the man of God and all lived until the next crop. A biblical story and you can, believe it or not, your choice.

Last week our new Premier announced the formation of a Blue Ribbon advisory board, and began the process of making our province “more efficient.” He told us earlier that he will reduce taxes on Corporations and expect them to revive our economy. This is much like the story about Elijah and the widow. Only Premier Kenney is not a biblical prophet and Corporations may legally be persons but they are not God. I am just a little bit afraid that they will take the money and we will be forced to make the sacrifice and live without the tax revenue.

If the price of heavy crude will not increase, there is very little chance of Alberta making the money we used to make. Right now the USA is the number one oil exporter and the world is not using all the available oil. Why should we get more money for our oil? The main markets are China and India and they are working hard to reduce their dependency on oil. I wish we did the same.

So far I see us making a feeble attempt to reduce oil consumption with Carbon Pricing and some vague regulations but it's not much and there is great opposition. The solution to our problems is not going to come from trying to sell more oil but from designing and building ways to live with energy which doesn’t kill us.

Over here in southwest Alberta, we have abundant energy even if we only use solar and wind. The problem is storing that energy and there are a number of ways to do that. We have an expert in town who builds energy storage systems. He uses clean power, when available, to pump water to reservoirs up the mountain and releases the water when there is no sun and wind to produce clean power. All that’s needed is some initiative and work by our leaders and we can have, jobs, income, and pride in doing the right thing.

Another biblical story that I love is the story of Moses freeing the Hebrew slaves from Pharaoh. Pharaoh led a modern efficient country at his time, built cities and controlled people with a great modern chariot army. The Hebrew economic migrants provided labor in exchange for sustenance and presumed safety. Today we call their kind working or lower class while in the past they were called slaves. Moses the son of slaves excelled in learning, as happens nowadays also, and led his people out of Egypt. In the process he discovers spirituality and a mighty God called “I am.”

My mind runs up in history from Moses to our time and I stop for a look. I see a modern industrial highly technological world in which billions of people are busy conquering nature and converting the natural order into man-made systems. There is little or no concern about the fact that men are incapable of successfully replacing what we call God’s natural laws. Gone are the laws of Moses and even the teachings of the one we call Son of God. Again there is a ruling class protected by modern armies using the labor of the numerous disadvantaged people. They control the people with money, credit, and laws enforced by uniformed fighters and a threat of jail.

Zooming in I go to May 8th, 2019 and see thousands of Uber drivers in major cities around the world going on strike.  They are the equals of the Hebrew slaves in our generation. Some are telling how they work all of their waking hours and aren’t able to feed their families. The great American dream exploded in their faces but there is nothing else for them to do. Uber is just one example. Many millions of people in the “free world” remember how their parents had a good life, with regular jobs, but they have not the slightest hope for the same.

Have we reached the point in which God will have to intervene and free the slaves from oppression, or are we doing alright?

In the Bible, there are many stories which are meant to teach wisdom. Some people take it to be ordained by God while others believe that the wisdom of humanity has been condensed into the biblical stories. To me, it doesn’t matter. Wisdom should be considered in every decision regardless of where it comes from.

It perhaps is wise to help a guy who does miracles. Not so with corporations who make money on our resources but will go unless we let them take more. Is it wise to work for a miserable existence and not demand more? Again no, if a company makes billions from our labor we should force them to share some with us.

Call it wisdom, call it justice, I am a believer in the main principle of the Bible. Do on to others as you would like done to you.

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